Extinction of our famed salmon is not an option.
THE proposed budget cuts coming from President Donald Trump will eliminate all federal funding for salmon recovery. This would be a devastating setback for a remarkable, citizen-led effort to restore healthy salmon runs in Washington.
Trump’s budget wipes out the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery fund, a federal grant program that is helping restore salmon along the entire Pacific Coast, from Alaska to California. This federal funding is the backbone of recovery efforts in Washington along with millions of dollars of state and local matching funds. Without the funding, the burden would fall entirely on state and local resources, which will significantly slow our efforts and ultimately lead to the extinction of some salmon species.
Our iconic salmon offer many benefits — a timeless cultural value; ongoing jobs and income for recreational and commercial businesses; a crucial driver for healthy land, air and water; and a source of joy and renewal for Washingtonians. And animals, such as orca, depend on salmon to survive.
Fishing is also big business. More than $1 billion is spent on recreational fishing and shellfish harvesting-related equipment and trips annually in Washington. Commercial salmon fishing brought in $39 million in 2014. The loss of this federal funding may mean the state won’t be able to pay for the monitoring and operations that segregate hatchery from wild fish required by the Endangered Species Act, threatening elimination of salmon fishing in some areas.
Investing in salmon recovery makes good sense, too. Every $1 million spent on watershed restoration results in an average of 16.7 jobs created. In…